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Properties and Uses of NaOH

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NaOH – sodium hydroxide, caustic soda or lye is an inorganic compound. This substance is an ionic compound. Sodium hydroxide forms nearly 50% weight of a saturated solution in water. It is a white crystal at room temperature, which has a melting point of 318 ̊C, boiling point 1388 ̊C, and density 2.13 g/cm3. This substance is a strong base, which easily absorbs CO2 and H2O when exposed. Often, NaOH is used in processing food, unclogging drains, and making such products as plastic, soap, and textile. Sometimes, this substance is replaced with potassium hydroxide that gives similar results.

Chemical Properties of NaOH

• When caustic soda is neutralized with an acid or dissolved in water, this substance liberates heat, capable of igniting combustible materials. NaOH is highly soluble in glycerin and alcohol and is very corrosive.
• Sodium hydroxide reacts with acids and gives water and salts.
• NaOH reacts with acidic oxides. Such reactions are usually used to scrub the harmful acidic gases produced during the burning of coal. This helps prevent their release into the atmosphere.
• Aqueous caustic soda solution forms silicates reacting with glass at ambient temperature.

Calculating the Molar Mass of NaOH

Molecules that form this substance are usually measured in experiments, which have to be maximally accurate. Due to careful calculation, one can determine the amount of substance required in a NaOH reaction. That is why it is so important to know how to calculate the molar mass of caustic soda.

If you weigh one mole of NaOH, it is called the molar mass of sodium hydroxide and has the unit g/mol. The molar mass of this substance is the weight of one mole (one mole has 6.022 x 1023 entities – the Avogadro’s number). This means that the molar mass of caustic soda is the mass in grams of 6.022 x 1023 entities. You can get the molar mass of NaOH by finding its molecular weight and sticking the unit “g/mol” after that number.

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